Devotional

New Beginnings: Part 2 of 5

Focus on Prayer

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2 NKJV

In Part One of this five-part series of New Beginnings, we started the New Year with Focus on God. In keeping our eyes on God, we want a clear view of who God is and not to see Him with a distorted point of view. We sought to remove the distractions that keep us away from God.

Today, I’ve been distracted all morning with my computer crashing; problems that may require my IT to reinstall my computer. I’ve been backing up photos, writing, and other important documents. Frustration grabs my attention.

As I sit to write Part Two of this devotional series, I hang my head. The topic is “Focus on Prayer.” The Lord gently reminds me that as I’ve been working on other things and getting irritated, I have not prayed this morning. It’s time I pray and get my focus back on God.

I spent time with God and I’m feeling better. I can even chuckle a little because I’ve gotten to another item of my to-do list by backing up files, even if it was not my idea to do it today.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

Prayer. Why do we often use prayer as a last resort instead of the first? We are called to be steadfast in prayer. God is near when we pray, and He gives us peace. Prayer is the way to avoid anxiety.

Rejoice in the Lord always…The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 NIV

Prayer also helps us to rejoice and be thankful to God. Even if we don’t feel thankful, when we practice being thankful when we pray, God changes our heart. In the Old Testament, Job faced adversity yet he still worshipped and praised the LORD (Job 1:20-22).

Prayer involves confession, declaring what God says is true is true, including our sin. Let’s seek forgiveness for our sin so God can cleanse us. (Psalm 51:1, 2).

We can go to God about everything. Nothing is too hard or insignificant for Him, because He is all powerful and He loves us so much that even the little things that matter to us matter to Him. Let’s present our requests to Him. We can ask for wisdom (James 1:5-6), seek His will for us (Matthew 6:10; James 4:13-17), and we can pray for ourselves and for others (Ephesians 1:15-16; 1 Timothy 2:1-4). He gives us peace and guidance. The Lord wants us to come to Him. God even commands that we pray.

My former pastor would say, “Let’s talk with God.” That’s what prayer is, and we can approach Him in confidence.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NIV

Let’s talk with God.

Helpful tip: Let’s keep a prayer journal with our requests and the Lord’s answers to our prayers. I like to date my requests and God’s answers. As we look back at how God acted in the past on our behalf, it will build our faith. Seeing His past faithfulness helps us to know that He will remain faithful in the future.

Lord, thank you for the privilege of coming to You, God Almighty. May I be quick to approach Your throne for grace, mercy, and help in time of need. Amen.

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Welcome to my website. I’m glad you stooped by. Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. It is my hope that the devotionals bring you closer to the Lord and that they touch your heart. Back issues are on the website, with new devotionals posting every other Thursday.

You may have noticed the name change to my site. I’m using my pen name, Kathryn Breckenridge, because of competition from other authors in the use of my own name, Kathryn Hughes. I hope it clears up confusion rather than adding to it.

Have a blessed week!

Kathryn

Devotional

New Beginnings

Focus on God

Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3: 22, 23 NKJV

There is something about a new calendar that calls to me. The pages are still fresh and pristine. It is not cluttered with appointments and errands to do, or the reminder that I still haven’t accomplished a project on my goal list. The New Year holds the offer of new beginnings.

The Lord also gives us new beginnings. His mercies are new every morning, not just at the beginning of a new year. What a great gift that is!

Over the next few devotional blogs, let’s look at some new or renewed beginnings that can be part of our walk with the Lord. First, let’s consider a sharper focus on God.

We can start with a clearer focus on God by “cleaning our lens.” If we are taking a photo smudged in fingerprints, it messes up the crispness of the picture. If we are looking at God with smudges from sin and misconceptions about Him, that also obscures our focus. If we ask Him to reveal to us areas that need His mercy and compassion and a fresh start, He will show them to us.  That awareness prompts us to seek the Lord’s forgiveness for our sins.

Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the LORD; Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven. Lamentations 3:40, 41 NKJV

Let’s ask God to help us to see Him for whom He is and not a distorted view of Him. As we read Scripture, the Lord reveals Himself in it. Here is a short list of God’s attributes:  He is righteous (Lamentation 3:18). He is compassionate and faithful (Lamentations 3:22, 23). He does not change (Malachi 3:6). God loves us (John 3:16; John 15). He created us and all things. He is our salvation and our Redeemer.

You drew near on the day I called to You, and said, “Do not fear!” O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul; You have redeemed my life. Lamentations 3:57, 58 NKJV

Photo by Ethan Sees on Pexels.com

As we press forward to a new beginning with God, let us remove distractions that may come between us and our Savior. One of my distractions is being “too busy” with commitments. It’s easy for me to get too involved and find myself exhausted at the end of the day without spending time with God. It helps me to set a specified time to read God’s love letter, the Bible. If I set time aside for God like an appointment instead of just another task to accomplish on my list, I am more likely to be consistent in reading my Bible and talking with God in prayer. I also take notes, for it helps me remember what I’ve read better than if I just read or listen, even if I don’t spend much time with my notes later.

Your distractions may differ from mine. What helps you to set aside time to focus on the Lord?

Lord God, Please help me to keep my focus on You. Show me who You are in fresh ways this year, Lord. I want to begin everything with You. Amen.

Sunrise photo on top by Jonathan Petersson on Pexels.com

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I would love to hear from you! Is there a topic you would like to see covered? Has something I’ve written been helpful to you? Happy New Year!

Thank you for joining me and for reading my devotional blogs I hope and pray that you will be touched by God in a special way each time you visit. Blogs usually post every other Thursday and are archived for your convenience. Click on the month in the sidebar to see what was published in a given month. Thank you. Kathryn

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